News / Edmonton

Edmonton city council votes to keep group homes rules unchanged

Currently group homes for less than six residents are approved in neighbourhoods just as any residential home would be and face no other barriers.

Edmonton City hall is seen in this file photo.

Metro File

Edmonton City hall is seen in this file photo.

Group homes won’t have any new barriers to being set up in Edmonton neighbourhoods, after city councillors embraced the status quo on Tuesday.

Currently group homes for less than six residents are approved in neighbourhoods just as any residential home would be and face no other barriers.

Last month, after an Edmonton teen was charged with murder, police raised concerns about how one group home was being run, but Mayor Don Iveson said that doesn’t mean the city should change the rules.

“There is no need to change the rules and to make things tougher for community members who need safe and supportive housing,” he said.

After the young girl was charged, the province announced a review of that particular group homes operations and staffing levels and Iveson said he welcomed that, but he doesn’t want to stand in the way of people who need help.

“That’s probably the right thing to do, but at the end of the day the questions isn’t whether this kind of housing is needed in a community, the question is are the supports there for this kind of housing.”

Zoning changes being considered could have required notification to neighbours when a group home moves in and making them discretionary for development officers.

Leah McRorie told councillors she wouldn’t want her daughters, who have disabilities, to be singled out when they move into a new community.  

“It looks like somebody wants to identify our daughters in the community and where they are living,” she said.

McRorie said she has seen draft of a letter AHS was planning to use to advise communities when a group home was set up and she finds it offensive.

“We don’t identify in Alberta where rapists or pedophiles are living,” she said

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